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What does an ingrown hair look like?

3 mins

Samina Siddique

If you are wondering what does an ingrown hair look like and if the skin bumps on your body are hair or something, this article can offer you some insights.

Have you ever noticed a red bump on your skin and are not sure if it is a pimple, boil, scar, or ingrown hair, you are not alone. 

At some point or the other, each and every one of us must have experienced these bumps on our bodies and sometimes even on the face. 

Not all skin bumps are the same, and likewise, the reasons causing these bumps are also widely different. 

Therefore, it is important to be able to tell the difference and understand what does an ingrown hair look like, so you can take suitable measures to soothe your skin. 

Table of contents:

  • What does an ingrown hair look like?
  • What causes ingrown hair?
  • How to treat and avoid ingrown hair?
  • What products help treat or avoid ingrown hair?

What does an ingrown hair look like?

ingrown hairs

Ingrown hair refers to a hair strand that is growing inside the skin instead of protruding out. The appearance of an ingrown hair can differ in different people. 

Sometimes, it can look like a pimple or a boil. It may look like a raised red blot on your skin. Ingrown hair can most commonly be found on your legs, arms, armpits, neck, chest, back, face, and pubic area. 

It can also have a cyst-like appearance. In most cases, it causes redness and itching. In some extreme cases, it can also lead to pain and swelling. 

What causes ingrown hair?


Here are some causes of ingrown hair:


People who have coarse hair may be more susceptible to suffer from ingrown hair bumps on their skin. If your hair is curly and coarse genetically, you may experience frequent ingrown hair on your skin.

Hair removal

Hair removal techniques like shaving, threading, waxing and plucking can also increase hair growth under the skin, most commonly known as razor bumps. If you are shaving too closely, you may notice the new hair strands growing inside your skin. Hair removal techniques only remove the top layer of the hair and not the cuticle. Therefore, the hair grows back. Sometimes, the skin may create a barrier due to which the hair continues to grow underneath its surface.

Tight clothing

Tight clothing like leggings or jeans can also increase ingrown hair. Wearing such items of clothing for extended periods of time does not offer any room for your hair to grow. This may increase the appearance of red bumps on your legs.

High levels of certain sex hormones

Certain sex hormones can increase hair growth which, in turn, increases the likelihood of ingrown hair.  

How to treat and avoid ingrown hair?

exfoliating legs

If you notice ingrown hair on any part of your body, here are some things you should do:

Consult a doctor

If the ingrown hair causes pain, swelling, or appears cyst-like, you should immediately consult a doctor. Ingrown hair may lead to bacterial infections sometimes that can cause pain. The doctor may prescribe a steroid to reduce the swelling and provide relief from irritation. Antibiotics can also be used to treat infections. You may also be prescribed retinoids for regular application. Retinoids can help remove dead skin cells, exfoliate your skin, and reduce skin bumps over time. 

Exfoliate regularly

It can help to use chemical and physical exfoliators. This helps the ingrown hair come out of the skin and grow normally.

Be careful while shaving

Shaving hygiene and proper techniques can help reduce and prevent ingrown hair. Always shave in the direction of your hair. In addition to this, use a single-blade razor. A sharp blade will also remove the hair in one go and not require multiple strokes, thus lowering irritation. Shaving too close to the skin also causes irritation, so avoid it. Before and after shaving, always apply a gel or lotion to soothe the area. 

Use other hair removal techniques

An electric razor causes little irritation to the skin. Switching to one may be advisable for regular shavers. If you have coarse and unruly hair, getting laser hair removal may also be a better option for long-term skin health. 

Let your skin breathe

Avoid tight clothing and give your skin some space to heal and recover. It may also help to let go of hair removal for a while. 

let your skin breathe, moisturized skin, shaved legs

Ingrown hair is not a serious problem and can be treated and prevented with basic measures. But it can affect your confidence and also cause irritation and itching. So, make sure to follow these simple tips to reduce ingrown hair on your face and body. 

What products help treat or avoid ingrown hair?

If you are looking for product recommendations to treat ingrown hair or prevent its occurrence, the following options can help:

Body butters

Body butters can be used as shaving cream. Applying a coat of body butter before and after shaving can offer lubrication and moisture to your skin and keep your skin soft and smooth.

Body scrub

Body scrubs can exfoliate the skin and push the hair out. It also removes dirt and grime from the skin and helps to keep it clean. The Ubtan Face and Body Scrub can be a good option to smoothen and soften your skin.  

ubtan body scrub, face scrub, wow skin scrub, buywow


You can also use oils instead of body butters for deeper hydration and long-lasting nourishment. Essential oils can be combined with any carrier oil for an aromatic skincare regime. Essential oils like basil oil, frankincense oil, lemon oil, etc., can heal and soothe the skin and reduce inflammation caused by razor bumps. 


WOW Skin Science has an extensive collection of body butters, lotions, oils, and scrubs that can together help reduce the appearance of ingrown hair. 

You can choose products from a wide range of ingredients and fragrances and reduce red bumps on your skin.

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Samina Siddique

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